(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Lee Eui-jin = It is understood that Qatari capital, which said it would pay about 8.4 trillion won for the acquisition of Manchester United, an English professional soccer team, increased the amount of the bid by more than 800 billion won.
The British daily Guardian reported on the 16th (local time) that a consortium led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), offered £5.5 billion (approximately 9.2 trillion won) to acquire Manchester United.
It was an additional 500 million pounds (approximately 837 billion won) 18 days after the 5 billion pound (approximately 8.374 trillion won) bid was submitted on the 28th of last month.
The new proposal, which totals £5.5 billion, includes a plan to completely clear the club’s debt worth £1 billion (approximately 1.675 trillion won) and to create a fund to invest in club facilities and the community.
Some of this is expected to be used to repair facilities such as Old Trafford, their home stadium, which has been open for more than 100 years, and the club’s training ground in Carrington, near Manchester.
However, according to The Guardian, the raised bid also falls short of the 6 billion pounds (approximately 10.48 trillion won) proposed by the current owner of the club, the American sports conglomerate Glazer family.
Qatar’s move is interpreted as an attempt to suppress the offer of Ineos, which is led by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, its takeover rival.
Ratcliffe, famous as a long-time Manchester United fan, took a strategy of paving the way for the Glazer family to exert some influence for the time being, even after the takeover, by requesting a majority stake, unlike the Qatar side, which wants a ‘100% stake’.
In this case, the Glazer family, known to own 70% of the shares, will come down from the position of the largest shareholder, but they can still have a voice in the club’s decision-making bodies such as the board of directors through the remaining shares.
The British popular newspaper The Sun reported on the 10th that the Glazer family, who were satisfied with this approach, confirmed Ineos as their preferred negotiating partner, and the competition for acquisition seemed to be tilting toward Ratcliffe.
However, with no official announcement made over the next few days, Qatar raised the bid itself, and the final direction of the club seems to be in the fog again.
The Daily Telegraph commented, “Of the six Glazer siblings, it seems to depend on whether Joel and Abraham Glazer decide to give up their stake. The two were the most reluctant to give up control of the club.” .
The newspaper also reported that Man Utd coach Eric Tenhagh, who wants to recruit players in the transfer market this summer, hopes that the owner of the club will be decided in June.
United was acquired by American sports conglomerate Malcolm Glazer for $1.47 billion in 2005, and when Malcolm passed away in 2014, his children became co-owners.
However, as Manchester United’s poor performance recently, fans’ dissatisfaction grew, and some fans protested demanding the ‘Glaser family’s resignation’.
In the end, when the Glazer family virtually announced the sale of the club in November of last year, the acquisition competition was ignited as various foreign capitals that wanted even a minority stake, including Qatar and Ratcliffe, showed interest.
Manchester United, who failed to advance to the European Football Federation (UEFA) Champions League (UCL) by finishing in 6th place last season, is doing well this season under Tenhach’s managerial system.
Currently, they are in 4th place in the English Premier League (EPL) with 20 wins, 6 draws and 9 losses with 66 points.